The Donald Trump supporter who made headlines for screaming “Jew-S-A” at a Arizona campaign rally on Saturday says he was just trying to show solidarity with Latinos.
George Lindell, a painter for hire and ardent opponent of Hillary Clinton’s, told the Arizona Republic in a Monday interview that he saw a group of Latino attendees, including children, at the Phoenix rally.
According to Lindell, the children cut their own cheers of “USA” short because they were embarrassed that the chant came out “Joo-S-A.”
“They felt they wouldn’t fit in because of their accent,” he told the Republic.
To boost their morale, Lindell said, he struck up the cheer “Jew-S-A,” which luckily happened to be the way he has pronounced the country’s initials since his childhood in the Latino-heavy Maryvale neighborhood of Phoenix.
“That’s always the way I’ve said it: Jew-S-A,” he told the Republic. “I like the way it sounds. I like Jew-S-A because it has more flair.”
At the Phoenix rally, Lindell broke into his favorite chant repeatedly, also swinging by the press pen to call journalists “the enemy” and scream “you’re going down!”
Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway condemned his behavior as “deplorable” and insisted it was not representative of the GOP nominee’s supporters.
Lindell insisted he was no bigot and would never denigrate Jewish people or any religious or ethnic group, telling the Republic “we’re all created equal.”
Asked to clarify one comment he made under his breath, however, Lindell told the Republic he said, “The Jews run the country anyway.”
This was just his way of “horsing around,” he added.
Watch video of his Saturday outburst below:
Guy chants “Jew-S-A” in front of press pen pic.twitter.com/2yqgA6dD4k
— Nick Corasaniti (@NYTnickc) October 29, 2016